UNOCHA For Palestine Report on Protection of Civilians

[tweetmeme]  UNOCHA releases weekly reports reviewing the treatment of Palestinian civilians under Israeli occupation.  This week (24-30 March) is more of the same, but does include an important procedural change by the IDF.

  • Israeli forces injured 11 Palestinians in the West Bank (down from 57 the previous week), including 2 children – aged 14 and 15.
  • Settler attacks resulted in 4 Palestinian injuries, including a 13 year old
  • There were three reports of stone-throwing by Palestinians, resulting in damage to 1 car and no injuries.
  • Demolition orders have been given for three residences in Jordan Valley community of Khirbet Samra due to lack of proper building permits.  The orders put 19 people, including 12 children at risk of displacement.
  • The IDF revised its procedure for dealing with stone-throwing Palestinians at protests.  Now, IDF soldiers are not allowed to open fire in response to stones and require the permission of a supervisor to shoot warning shots into the air.  Soldiers are only allowed to open fire if a Molotov cocktail is thrown at a civilian vehicle.
  • In Gaza, 2 people were injured while collecting rubble near the Israeli imposed buffer-zone.  One of the two was a 15 year old who sustained serious injuries.
  • Four more Palestinians were injured when Israeli forces opened fire on protesters near the buffer-zone on land day (March 30).
  • On five occasions, the Israeli military entered Gaza with tanks and bulldozers to level buildings.  On one occasion, the military arrested 20 Palestinians, including 4 children, while they were collecting rubble.
  • The Israeli navy opened fire at three Palestinian fishermen, resulting in serious injuries to one and serious damage to one boat.
  • The Egyptian police destroyed 7 tunnels and arrested 11 Palestinians tunnel workers.
  • Imports of industrial fuel (1.45 vs. 1.04 million litres 1.45 vs. 1.04 million litres) and cooking gas (966 tonnes vs. 840 tonnes) increased over total exports from last week  Yet the imports of fuel and gas represent only 46% and 69%, respectively, of civilian needs.
  • Due to the shortage of industrial fuel, the power plant is working at 38% of its full capacity, resulting in rolling blackouts of 8-12 hours for the entire strip.

During this week, there was one rocket from Gaza that landed in Israel with no reports of damage or injury.  Rocket statistics from QassemCount.

As I said earlier, the report contains nothing groundbreaking, but does demonstrate a few things.  First, the tensions in the West Bank seem to be simmering a little as civilian injuries decreased dramatically over last week.  Secondly, the new IDF procedure for protests may represent a very small change due to the international pressure Israel has felt.  If the new procedures are truly implemented, it should reduce the number of unnecessary deaths and injuries.

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